A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by majority shareholder Mr Les Hutchison and the ‘Well Society in which Mr Hutchison has agreed to sell his 76% shareholding to fan group the ‘Well Society for £1. This MoU allows the advanced negotiations to continue to a mutually agreed conclusion over the coming weeks.
In addition, Mr Hutchison has agreed to provide the club and Society with working capital over the next few months and deferred loan repayments to ensure the Society has every chance to succeed.
The deal concludes a five-year effort from the Society to own Motherwell FC, a role they will take on as soon as all legal agreements are signed.
Mr Hutchison will immediately step down from his role as Director and Vice Chairman. Mr Jim McMahon is now Chairman, Douglas Dickie is Vice Chairman, Tom Feely is appointed as a Director with other Board members continuing. All Directors are members of the ‘Well Society.
The deal finalises Mr Hutchison’s fourteen months at Fir Park, where he not only stopped the club falling into foreign ownership in the winter of 2014, but provided the investment required to allow the club to remain in the SPFL Premiership during the 2014/15 season and to allow fans to enjoy the upcoming 130th and 25th anniversaries while still in the top division.
Commenting, Mr Hutchison added: “I am extremely pleased at the great progress we have made both on and off the park. The new systems and processes now in place together with an excellent management team has ensured a successful turn around at the club.
“I would like to personally thank Mark McGhee and Alan Burrows for their huge contribution to the improvements at
“I would also like to thank everyone at the club who adopted the many changes I introduced to create a solid foundation to build on and who worked tirelessly to advance the Business Plan during what was and is a transitional period.
“With the fans, via the ‘Well Society, nearly in full control, the onus will very much be on them and the wider community to stand by their club in the weeks, months and years ahead
“As well as thanking everyone who has joined and is contributing to the ‘ Well Society, I would also like to wish the extremely dedicated individuals who will now drive the club forward all the very best in their endeavours. I’ll be supporting from afar.”
‘Well Society interim Chairman Douglas Dickie added: “This marks the start of an exciting and important period for the club and the ‘Well Society is indeed indebted to our members whose significant financial contribution has directly assisted Motherwell FC in achieving the improvements as highlighted.
“There is still a substantial amount of work yet to be done and I would ask that existing members and fans continue and join in the support in order that we can achieve our initial goal in sustaining a community and fan-owned Motherwell FC.”
Following on from the announcement which was made by the Club today, The Well Society are delighted to confirm that we have entered into an MOU which will allow us to continue the advanced negotiations which will lead to the Club being the first fully fan owned team in the Scottish Premiership. As stated in the Club announcement, we have signed an MOU agreeing to take over Les Hutchison’s 75% shareholding for £1.
Motherwell FC can now become a Community run Club where you the fans are the owners. We now have a fantastic opportunity to develop the Club with you the fans and the community at the heart of everything that we do.
As a fan owned Club, you the members will have a direct say in the way the Club operates having a community based ethos. We will have regular and open dialogue and involvement with you, indeed one of the first actions to be taken will be the circulation to all of a Fans Survey.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Les Hutchison for his support over the last 14 months. Les has always made it clear that he did not want to own the Club long term and that his involvement was to offer support to the Club and the Well Society during the transitional period ensuring that the Club did not fall into the wrong hands.
Most importantly we would like to thank you the fans for your contributions, either through pledging, donating, volunteering or just helping spread the word of The Well Society. This agreement is a testament to the support you have given us, however, this is only the beginning and in order for the Club to progress and be self-sufficient, we all need to play and continue to play our part and help us recruit as many members as possible.
If you have not already done so please consider joining The Well Society and becoming one of the OWNERS of Motherwell Football Club.
Once again thank you for all your support and we now look forward to an exciting fan owned future for Motherwell FC !